Fun Facts About Giant Anteaters

Fun Facts About Giant Anteaters That Make Them Awesome

Fun Facts About Giant Anteaters

Here are some fun facts about Giant Anteaters that I’ll bet you didn’t know.  Such as … did you know it has a 2 foot long tongue?  No?  Read on then, for some more cool stuff.

fun facts abut Giant anteaters

  • The giant anteater’s tongue is typically two feet long — 24 inches (60 cm)!  No other mammal has a tongue as long relative to its body size. The tongue is sticky and has spikes, and anteaters can flick their tongues more than 150 times per minute to suck up bugs without getting bit or stung.
  • Its tubular snout, which ends in its tiny mouth opening and nostrils, takes up most of its head.
  • Its eyes and ears are relatively small.
  • It has poor eyesight, but it’s sense of smell is 40 times more sensitive than that of humans.
  • Giant anteaters can live around 16 years in captivity.
  • Giant anteaters have the lowest body temperature of any mammal.  Because bugs don’t provide anteaters with a ton of energy, they have slow metabolisms and a body temperature of only 90.86 degrees Fahrenheit.

fun facts about giant Anteaters

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Fun Facts About Giant Anteaters – Unique Tongue

The anteater has no teeth and is capable of very limited jaw movement.  Jaw depression creates an oral opening large enough for the slender tongue to flick out.  The tongue is covered in backward-curving papillae and coated in thick, sticky saliva secreted from its enlarged salivary glands, which allows the anteater to collect insects with it.

Fun facts about giant anteaters

During feeding, the tongue moves in and out around 160 times per minute (nearly three times per second).  When fully extended, the tongue can reach 45 cm (18 in); longer than the length of the skull.

They just mash ants against the roof of their mouth and eat more than 35,000 ants and termites every day.

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Fun Facts About Giant Anteaters – Toes & Claws

Giant anteaters have five toes on each foot, which includes four claws and a smaller vestigial toe. Three of these claws are more prominent than the others.  The anteater walks on its front knuckles (similar to the African apes), because its claws are so big and sharp and this helps to keep them out of the way..

Fun Facts about Giant Anteaters

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Fun Facts About Giant Anteaters – Reproduction and Motherhood

Giant anteaters carry their babies on their backs to make themselves look bigger and protect themselves from predators.  Baby giant anteaters spend up to the first two years of their lives with their mothers and spend most of their first year clinging to her back.

fun facts about giant Anteaters

Giant anteaters can mate all year round.  Male and female pairs are known to feed at the same insect nest.  While mating, the female lies on her side as the male crouches over her. A couple may stay together for up to three days and mate several times during that time.  Gestation lasts around 190 days and ends with the birth of a single pup, which typically weighs around 3 pounds (1.4 kg) .  Females give birth standing upright.

Pups are born with eyes closed and begin to open them after six days.  The young communicate with their mothers with sharp whistles and use their tongues during nursing.  After three months, the pup begins to eat solid food and is fully weaned by ten months at which time the bond decreases between mother and offspring.  Young anteaters usually become independent by nine or ten months and become sexually mature in 2.5 to 4 years.

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More Fun Facts About Giant Anteaters

  • The giant anteater, also known as the ant bear, is a large insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America. It is one of four living species of anteaters and is classified with sloths in the order Pilosa.
  • This species is mostly terrestrial, in contrast to other living anteaters and sloths, which are arboreal or semi-arboreal.
  • The giant anteater can be found in multiple habitats, including grassland and rainforest. It forages in open areas and rests in more forested habitats.
  • It feeds primarily on ants and termites, using its fore claws to dig them up and its long, sticky tongue to collect them.
  • Though giant anteaters live in overlapping home ranges, they are mostly solitary except during mother-offspring relationships, aggressive interactions between males, and when mating.
  • Mother anteaters carry their offspring on their backs until weaning them.

fun facts about giant anteaters

Sloth’s are one of anteaters’ closest relatives.

21 Facts That Prove Giant Anteaters Are Secretly The Coolest Animals On The Planet

Fun Facts About Giant Anteaters

The giant anteater is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It has been extirpated from some parts of its former range. Threats to its survival include habitat destruction and poaching for fur and bushmeat, though some anteaters inhabit protected areas.

Giant anteaters have been around for 25 million years!

SOURCE: Wikipedia / giant anteater

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I hope you have enjoyed, “Fun Facts About Giant Anteaters That Make Them Awesome

MY QUESTION FOR YOU TODAY:   Isn’t nature marvelous?  Have you ever seen an anteater or a sloth?  Aren’t they the coolest?

If you loved this, you will also love:  Sloths : Fun Facts About Sloths That Will Make Fall in Love with Them

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Jeanne Melanson

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Born in Nova Scotia, I moved to the United States 20+ years ago.I am a dedicated lover of animals and fight for their rights and protection.I love people too, of course, and enjoy meeting folks from all walks of life.I enjoy philosophical discussion, laughing, and really odd ball stuff.I hope you enjoy my site.Leave me a comment to let me know you were here!Peace out.
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26 thoughts on “Fun Facts About Giant Anteaters That Make Them Awesome

  1. Hi Jeanne,

    These pictures say a thousand words! I love the one where the anteater is scratching himself!

    I didn’t know much about them until I came on over here. How amazing are they, especially when they pair up and have pups!

    The animal kingdom never ceases to amaze me and I thank you for sharing this.

    -Donna
    donna merrill recently posted…Fear Is Just Business As UsualMy Profile

  2. Awesome animal Jeannie, thank you! I had no idea that they had such a low body temperature, 90.8 degrees! Now I know what mammal has the lowest body temp of us all! Keep it up sweetie! Jon the Birdman

    • Oh, I’m jealous! I would love to work with animals such as these. That’s really great. That must have been so enjoyable. I’m sure you learned a lot in over 800 hours. Wow. Awesome! Take care and come back soon!

    • April, you’re going to the jungle in Ecuador? I’m so jealous! I hope you get to see some there too. Let us know if you do! I appreciate you taking the time to visit us today! Peace

    • I guess I’ve never paid much attention to anteaters either, before I came across an article that caught my interest. They sure are interesting creatures. Our world is so full of amazing things, is it not? Thank you for your comment, Bonnie.

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